The Ski Boat Big Mamma capsized in heavy surf with eight people on board yesterday. The boat was practically destroyed and the eight people on board suffered light to fairly serious injuries.
National Sea Rescue Institute Shelly Beach station commander Mark Harlen said in a statement after the accident it appeared as if the boat capsized while powering through the surf into the sea immediately after the launch with a local skipper, a crewman and six passengers, all believed to be from Gauteng, on board. The accident happened at the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour.
Initially, it was feared that two men had either drowned or been trapped inside the capsized boat. An extensive rescue operation was undertaken immediately, and locals and bystanders joined in to help the people in the water. A subsequent head count showed that all eight on board had been rescued, and they were treated by paramedics. The skipper, Jan Olivier, who was in the cabin of the boat when it capsized, was reasonably seriously injured and suffered suspected rib fractures, but he is in a stable condition and expected to recover fully. Three of the Gauteng passengers were transported to hospital for observation, and all eight were treated for hypothermia, shock, near drowning symptoms and exhaustion.
eHowz!t was on the scene soon after the accident, and watched the wrecked vessel being pulled from the surf. We also interviewed eyewitnesses and people who helped with the rescue who gave their respective accounts of what had happened. We want to point out that the first shots of Big Mama being launched, were taken of a previous launch. However, the following shot of the boat capsizing was given to us by a visitor from Pretoria, Daleen Engelbrecht, who was filming Wednesday’s launch on her iPad…….